Match Report


Posted By  Nick Connoll ,  Mon 29 Sep 14

Coventry City sailed comfortably into the third round of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy with a resounding 3-1 win over Exeter City at the Ricoh Arena.

Aaron Phillips sent the Sky Blues into the break with a two-goal cushion courtesy of his fine brace to open his scoring account for the season.

Josh McQuoid capped off the scoring for City with his fifth goal of the season just before the hour although Grecians sub Ollie Watkins grabbed a consolation for the visitors five minutes from time.

City boss Steven Pressley rang four changes to the side that drew 2-2 awith Crawley Town at the weekend, bringing in goalkeeper Lee Burge, defenders Ryan Haynes and Jack Finch and midfielder Mohamed Coulibaly to replace Ryan Allsop, Danny Pugh, Seb Hines and Jim O'Brien.

It was Coulibaly who fashioned the first half chance of the game after nine minutes when he drove through the midfield and got to the edge of the area before lashing a shot across the face of goal and just wide of the far post.

The Sky Blues first effort on target came after a quarter of an hour though when John Fleck fired from 20 yards and forced a low save out of James Hamon who spilled the ball, forcing Danny Butterfield to clear the danger.

Exeter returned the favour three minutes later when Jimmy Keohane chased down a long ball and took a touch to turn inside Jordan Willis, shott from 15 yards but not troubling Burge who made a comfortable low save.

Coulibaly appeared to develop a taste for efforts from range when, after 22 minutes, he drove an effort from 25 yards which Hamon dealt with but looked unsure as the ball moved in the air.

City's pressing very nearly paid dividends on the half hour though when pressure and a great tackle from John Fleck played the ball through into the path of Simeon Jackson who steamed forward but, with an ever narrowing angle, could only steer his effort wide of the foot of the far post.

The opener the Sky Blues threatened came after 34 minutes though courtesy of Aaron Phillips. A short corner exchange between Coulibaly and Fleck saw Fleck shoot from the edge of the area and although Hamon parried the effort he parried it into the path of Phillips who swept a finish into the top corner.

His second came in spectacular fashion though a minute into two added minutes at the end of the half when he picked up a ball 25 yards out and lifted a curling effort over Mahon who was caught off his line to give the Sky Blues a fully deserved two-goal cushion at the interval.

Exeter had a chance to halve that cushion six minutes after the restart when Aaron Dawson's cross from the right picked out an unmarked Jordan Moore-Taylor who could only direct a header straight into the chest of Burge.

The deficit for the visitors then increased two minutes before the hour when Josh McQuoid added a third for the Sky Blues. Jackson ran at two defenders before slipping a ball through to McQuoid on the overlap who finished through the legs of Hamon.

Jackson nearly made it four after 65 minutes when a lovely clever through ball from substitute James Maddison picked him out although he could only flash a shot across goal from an almost impossible angle.

He went close again with 15 minutes to go when a short corner from Maddison to Coulibaly saw the latter get to the byline and cut a ball back for Jackson who could not steer home from three yards out as Christian Ribiero blocked the ball behind.

Haynes created an almost identical opportunity three minutes later when he was picked out with a through ball by Conor Thomas and pulled a ball back into the six yard area that was again poked behind to evade the oncoming George Thomas.

Exeter did experience a high note of their own although it was somewhat of a consolation when, with five minutes to go, substitute Ollie Watkins lashed a shot into the bottom corner past Burge.

The goal did not bring about a late resurgence for the visitors though as a Sky Blues side with nine of the 11 on pitch coming from the club's academy seeing out the game to put City in the hat for the JPT third round.

Attendance: 7.273 (486 away)


Coventry City: Burge, Willis, Webster (c) (Clarke 46), Finch, Haynes, Phillips, C Thomas, Coulibaly, Fleck (Maddison 46), McQuoid (G Thomas 59), Jackson
Subs: Allsop (GK), Miller

Exeter City: Hamon, Butterfield, Bennett (c) (Pope 64), Ribiero, Oakley (Watkins 64), Kweohane, Davies, Moore-Taylor (Tilson 37), Dawson, Nicholls, Riley-Lowe
Subs: Jay, Keadell

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